A 53-year-old gay man who was arrested in a New York City porn shop for prostitution has filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court, gay weekly Gay City News reported.

Robert Pinter pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after he was arrested last October at the Blue Door Video on First Avenue.

Since then Pinter has learned that over 50 gay and bisexual men were arrested and faced similar charges in seven Manhattan porn shops since 2004. The findings led him to speak out against the city's actions.

Pinter says he was approached for sex by a handsome young Asian man on October 10 in the shop. They agreed to have oral sex in a parked car. On the way to the car, the man, who was an undercover police officer, blurted out, “Oh, I want to pay you $50 to suck your dick.” He was arrested for prostitution before the pair reached the car.

As part of his sentence, Pinter was ordered to attend a health class. Some of the other men attending the class recounted similar experiences. The men soon became angry and decided to confront the city about the arrests.

After several politicians sympathetic to the men intervened on their behalf, the city agreed to allow the men to challenge their earlier convictions. Eventually, most the charges were either dismissed or reversed, including those against Pinter.

The city has sued six of the video shops where gay men had been arrested on questionable prostitution charges. Citing the arrests, the city called the shops a nuisance.

One shop – Video, Video, Video – was sued by the city in 2007 after 21 men were arrested. After the city successfully closed the store, the building was sold for $12.3 million and is now being redeveloped.

In his September 10 filing, Pinter's attorney wrote: “The actions taken against the Plaintiff in targeting him, entrapping him, arresting him, taking him into custody, and otherwise detaining him and prosecuting him were taken for collateral objectives other than the legitimate objectives associated with an arrest and prosecution.”